Commonwealth Journal

Columns

May 21, 2014

Death penalty has its place despite ‘botched’ execution

Attorneys for Russell Bucklew were very concerned for their client yesterday. He was scheduled to be executed by the state of Missouri this morning at 12:01. Bucklew’s attorneys feared he might die in pain.
Many attorneys of death-row inmates are up in arms after last month’s execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma.
Officials said Lockett's vein collapsed and he died of an apparent heart attack 43 minutes after the start of the procedure.
Many death penalty opponents claim Lockett’s death was horribly inhumane.
Let’s talk about inhumane: Lockett and his accomplices abducted two teenage girls (as well as a man and his baby). One of them, Stephanie Neiman, refused to say she wouldn't tell the police, so Lockett shot her with a shotgun. But she didn't die. He ordered his accomplices to bury her alive. Here's an AP summary of his crimes, in addition to first-degree murder: "conspiracy, first-degree burglary, three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, three counts of forcible oral sodomy, four counts of first-degree rape, four counts of kidnapping and two counts of robbery by force and fear."
Perhaps it’s terrible for me to feel this way — but I can’t muster any tears for Lockett.
Some of us media folk are saying the execution was “botched.” Sounds to me like the state of Oklahoma got the job done.
And as for Mr. Bucklew?
According to prosecutors, Bucklew was angry at his girlfriend, Stephanie Pruitt, for leaving him, and his threats led her to move with her two daughters into the Cape Girardeau home of another man, Michael Sanders, who had two sons. Bucklew tracked Pruitt down at Sanders' home March 21, 1996, and killed Sanders in front of Pruitt and the four children. He handcuffed and beat Pruitt, drove her to a secluded area and raped her.

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Columns
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